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June 19, 2012 News
PROgression: Lazare to Make F1600 Debut with BGR Team Grote

Jesse Lazare will make his junior formula car debut with BGR Team Grote during the F1600 Championship CanAm Cup (Photo: JesseLazare.com)
Jesse Lazare will make his junior formula car debut with BGR Team Grote during the F1600 Championship CanAm Cup
(Photo: JesseLazare.com)

The 2012 edition of the CanAm Cup will feature a new face on the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship grid with the addition of Jesse Lazare to the BGR Team Grote line up.

Lazare will join current rookie points leader Jack Mitchell Jr. in a second Piper DF5/Honda. After two successful test days, in which Lazare posted some very quick times at Shannonville Motorsports Park, BGR Team Grote put Lazare in the brand new Piper DF5/Honda for its first run at the DDT track adjacent to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport).

"Jesse quickly adapted to the F1600 car, and it was really no surprise to us as he has a stellar background in karting," commented team principal Brian Graham. "He is regarded as one of Canada'a top young karters, and we are very proud to be his choice for his first steps in open-wheel racing."

Lazare, who will make his open-wheel racing debut in the Ontario-based series, will pilot the No. 21 Door Doctor Piper DF5/Honda entry.

His new teammate Mitchell Jr. is coming off a solid weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. After a superb top-10 qualifying effort, he raced well to a eighth place finish that could have been more, but a brush with one the barriers at the chicane exit bent his upper front suspension and relegated him to the back of a group that was fighting for fourth through eighth position. He did however post the sixth fastest race lap, which would line him up on the third row for the Sunday morning show. After an excellent first lap, Mitchell Jr. had worked his way to fourth, and he held that spot for the first several laps. The pursuing pack drafted well together and eventually got to him and he was then in the midst of a great scrap that stretched from fourth to the 10th position. While running fifth Mitchell had contact with a lapper and the result effectively ended his strong run. He soldiered on with a damaged car, but quickly fell down the order as the laps wound down. He managed to cross the finish line in 15th, before pulling over and parking.

"We were very happy with Jack's performance at the Grand Prix," added Graham. "This is as good as it gets, and with the visiting leader of the USA-based pro F1600 series racing, we had not only Ontario and Quebec's best, but the current top driver from the USA series on the grid. The results may not have shown in the end on the sheets, but we are very pleased with how the weekend went."

Kieran Murphy and Marc Bishara were also on the grid for BGR Team Grote. After a engine issue Saturday, Murphy bounced back on the Sunday, jumping up to 24th from the back of the 34-car grid. Bishara, who was in his newly acquired ride, had a finish of 22nd on Saturday, and while a few spins ruined his progress on Sunday, he still brought the car home in 27th.

The BGR Team Grote squad is now putting on the finishing touches on the cars as they head to the track for the fifth and sixth rounds of the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship.

Lazare will get his first chance to sample the famed Canadian Tire Motorsports Park road course during Friday (June 22) pre-event testing. The Toyo Tires F1600 Championship action officially commences for the karting star and the rest of the BGR Team Grote squad one day later, with races on both Saturday and Sunday (June 23-24).
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